Maine Coons are large, muscular felines that have risen to extreme popularity among cat lovers. Often called “gentle giants,” these kitties have substantial girth, along with affectionate and playful personalities. We dare you to meet a Maine Coon without immediately commenting on their size. They’re just so big!
While the Savannah cat holds the title of the largest domestic cat breed, the Maine Coon is no lightweight. These hefty furballs are the largest of the non-wild cat hybrids and often outweigh the Savannah.
Like most cat breeds, our friendly, gentle giant can be found displaying various coat colors and patterns. The Maine Coon has over 75 coat variations, and while there are many beautiful black cat breeds, the Black Maine Coon has to be at the top of the list. Read on to learn about the all black Maine Coon, the black smoke Maine Coon, and other varieties of this fancy feline.
- Weight9-25 Pounds
- Height9-17 Inches
- Lifespan13-14 Years
The “Coon Cat,” as it was initially dubbed, has the distinction of being one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. The Maine Coon breed originated in Maine, where it was recognized as the official state cat in 1985. The origins of the Maine Coon date back to the 19th century, with characteristics now associated with this breed developing from “survival of the fittest” evolution.
Ships traveling from Europe to America in the 1800s housed an assortment of cats as a trade for the felines’ ability to control the rodent population aboard ships. Those that survived the journey to the chilly shores of Maine were then left to fend for themselves through the harsh, cold winters. Thus, this cat developed into a sturdy, working cat with a thick, shaggy coat and bushy tail for warmth and protection. While people initially believed the “Coon Cat” to be a cross between a cat and a raccoon, genetic identification has confirmed that the Maine Coon descended from the Norwegian Forest cat and another unknown domestic cat.
The Maine Coon has had shifts in popularity over the years and was even thought to be extinct in the 1950s. Thankfully, our favorite gentle giants bounced back and have gained popularity over the years. The Cat Fanciers’ Association officially recognized the Maine Coon in 1976. This breed also holds the honor of winning the first major cat show in the United States. Cosey, an adorable brown tabby female Maine Cat, won “Best Cat” at the National Cat Show, held at Madison Square Garden in 1985.
Appearance & Size
The Maine Coon is a large breed with a rectangular body and broad chest. Maine Coons weigh 9 to 25 pounds and reach 30 to 40 inches in length. You’ll notice a lion-shaped muzzle on the Maine Coon, and sometimes a ruff around the neck to match. These cats have large, pointy ears and big, oval-shaped eyes in shades of gold, green, green-gold, or copper. This cat has a thick, double coat and a big, fluffy tail that could put your household duster to shame.
Black Maine Coons are classified into four coat color classes: solid, shaded/smoke, shaded/smoke and white, and bi-color.
A solid black Maine Coon will have a dense, coal-black coat from the roots to the fur tip. This cat has an unbroken, unmarked coat free of rust on tips or a lighter undercoat. Their nose is back, and their paw pads are black or brown.
A Maine Coon cat with a black smoke coat will appear to have a solid black coat, but the color at the base of the hair fades slightly to a lighter undercoat. The coat will appear black while resting, but the white undercoat will become visible as they move. This kitty has light silver frill and ear tuff and will have a black nose and paw pads.
Black Smoke & White
The black smoke and white Maine Coon will have a black smoked coat, along with white on all four paws, belly, and bib. This cat may have a white face as well.
Black & White
The bi-color Maine Coon is a combination of black and white. This cat is classified as having white on the bib, belly, and all four paws and may or may not have white on the face.
Personality & Temperament
Expect your Maine Coons to be gentle, affectionate, and absolutely charming. Thanks to their easy-going temperament, these kitties make an excellent addition to families with young children and multi-pet households. Maine Coons are intelligent, worker cats, making them good candidates for clicker training. With their “dog-like” antics, expect your Maine Coon to follow you around the house and be ready to hang out all day.
Shedding & Hypoallergenic
The Maine Coon isn’t hypoallergenic. This cat has a long, double coat that is apt to shed all around the home. If you’re allergic to cats, consider a breed that fits your needs and lifestyle better.
The Maine Coon has a silky, somewhat oily coat. Your furry friend will be a great self-groomer, but a little support goes a long way. Their fur will become tangled and matted if left ungroomed for too long. For a glossy, beautiful coat, brush your Black Maine Coon at least two to three times per week. A soft bristle conditioning brush is a great way to distribute your cat’s natural oils and prevent matting.
Trim your cat’s nails regularly. To avoid periodontal disease, periodically brush your feline’s teeth. If you wish to bathe your cat, shampoo no more than once a month to prevent skin irritation. Always use pet-specific products when grooming your cat.
Like all housecats, your Maine Coon will need a litter box, food, water, a few scratching posts, and plenty of toys. Before bringing any new pet into your home, you should check for potential environmental dangers and adjust your surroundings to make your home pet-safe. Ensure your cat’s litter box is suited to their size, especially with these big kitties. Scoop the litter box at least once daily or as often as possible to maintain a healthy, clean environment.
The Maine Coon is a very social breed and will need plenty of one-on-one time. Schedule regular playtime with your cat to keep them entertained and active. Don’t forget to give your baby plenty of cuddles on the couch. Provide puzzle feeders, interactive toys, and scratching posts to keep your feline happy and avoid destructive behavior.
The Black Maine Coon will have a diet similar to the standard domestic cat, though portions will likely be larger. Like all cats, the Maine Coon is an obligate carnivore, requiring a meat-based diet for proper nutrition and health. Ensure your cat’s wet or dry food is sourced from high-quality, diverse sources. Give your cat scheduled meals and control portion sizes to prevent weight gain and health problems associated with obesity.
Cats need fresh, clean water all day, every day. Cats prefer running water, so consider treating your Maine Coon to a cat water fountain. If using a bowl, empty it, clean it, and refresh the water daily. Monitor your feline’s water intake so you can report any changes to your veterinarian.
The Maine Coon is intelligent and will learn quickly, especially if training begins at a young age. Always reward your cat for good behavior and ignore bad behavior. To cats, any attention is encouraging, so you should never give in to your cat’s frustrating behavior.
If you’re looking for a smarty-pants cat that’s ready to learn, you’ve found the right breed. Consider clicker training to teach your Maine Coon to sit, spin, and walk on a leash. Always use positive reinforcement when training your cat to learn tricks. Treats and verbal praise are always welcome.
Health & Lifespan
Expect your Red Maine Coon to live at least 13 to 14 years. With plenty of love and care, you may be able to spend many more healthy years with your feline friend. The Maine Coon breed is prone to several health conditions, including hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and spinal muscular atrophy. Buy cat insurance at a young age to cover your kitty’s medical needs, as young pets will have fewer pre-existing conditions that may prevent full coverage.
Depending on bloodline, age, and health, a Maine Coon can range from $400 to more than $1,500, with pedigreed cats costing more than $2,500. Of course, you may find a Maine Coon at a shelter, which is a great way to give a good home to one of these deserving cats.
As Family Pets
The Black Maine Coon has a gentle temperament that makes them a good fit for large families and multi-pet households. These cats are great around kids as well. Maine Coon cats love socializing with all family members, but you may find that they develop a stronger bond with specific family members.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Black Maine Coon Cats Rare?
While not all back Maine Coons are rare, the solid black coat is rare compared to other coat colors and patterns. With some cultures still superstitious about black cats, there has been a lack of demand for solid black Maine Coons; thus, they are bred less frequently.
What Other Coat Colors Does The Maine Coon Have?
The Black Maine Coon is a gorgeous cat and makes a great family pet despite their large size. This feline is gentle yet outgoing, happy to cuddle up with you on the couch or go on outdoor adventures. Learn more about the Maine Coon in our Maine Coon Cat Breed Profile.